Poor Geno Smith. Even when he has the best game of his career, he just can’t get it done fair and square. He throws for what must be a career best 254 yards and even a touchdown. His lone interception occurred on the New York Jets very first drive, so it was “inconsequential” to the result of the game—if one doesn’t count the fact that it was the first play of the game, and returned for a touchdown, and that the Jets eventually lost to Minnesota in overtime. Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is no great shakes as a quarterback, but he had one of those games where a few long completions really padded his stats beyond what is normally his style. Bottom line is that Geno is 1-9 as a starter this season, all nine losses in a row. This is the “improvement” at quarterback that Jets’ fans were led to believe in when Mark Sanchez was let go.
How bad is the NFC South? After losing six games in a row, the Carolina Panthers crushed division leader New Orleans 41-10, and are now just a half-game out of “first place.” Every team in that division has looked awful at many points in the season, and Atlanta, which started the season 2-6, is suddenly looking “good”—especially if they can somehow pull-out a win on the road against Green Bay on Monday night, which is highly unlikely, but then again Aaron Rodgers has had those kind of games before, as against Detroit earlier in the season. What a waste.
Elsewhere, Pittsburgh seemingly crushed Cincinnati 42-21, but Andy Dalton actually had an efficient game, and it was a 25-point fourth quarter eruption that was the Bengals’ undoing. The St. Louis Rams—a team that beat Seattle and San Francisco—won another impressive game against Washington. Well, “impressive” in the fact that RGIII didn’t start, although it wouldn’t have mattered if he did. Meanwhile, the Lions put pressure on the Packers—who needed that great win over New England last week—with a victory over hapless 2-11 Tampa Bay.
After Johnny Manziel’s debut last week set some Cleveland fans atwitter, the Browns saw fit to put Brian Hoyer on the field and he just kind of stunk it up for the fourth week in a row at home. Good thing for Indianapolis, because Andrew Luck was throwing the ball about without rhyme or reason, completing only 24 of 53 passes for a 59.8 passer rating. But a 90-yard drive in the final minutes, helped by a pass interference call and a fourth down conversion, was enough for the Colts to escape with a 25-24 victory.
And in one of the afternoon games, Peyton Manning threw for just 173 yards, no touchdowns and 2 interceptions for a 56.9 passer rating, but Buffalo’s fourth quarter rally was way too late to avoid a 24-17 loss. Manning fell three games short of Drew Brees’ record for consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass.